By Valerie Baldowski
More than 200 runners are expected to fill the streets for the fourth annual Peach Stand Road Race, scheduled for Saturday, at 8 a.m., in Locust Grove, according to the event's sponsors.
"We're planning for 250," said Tara Brown, one of the organizers of the event. "We've already got 125 pre-registered." Last year's race drew 175 runners, Brown added.
The race will begin, and end, at Gardner Farms Peach Stand, located at 3192 Ga. Highway 42 in Locust Grove, Brown said.
Registration fees for the race are $15 for students; $20 for a single runner, in advance; $25 for a single runner, the day of the event; $60 for a family of four, in advance; and $75 for a family of four, with two adults and two students, the day of the race.
Proceeds from the race will go to a grant program to benefit local merchants, said Brown.
"This is done by the Locust Grove Better Hometown Committee," Brown said. "We're actually raising money for a facade grant program."
The race is a way to support merchants in the city's downtown area, said Linda Hutchison, downtown development coordinator for the City of Locust Grove.
"The road race is held each year to benefit the Better Hometown facade grant program, and the beautification of the historic downtown area of Locust Grove," Hutchison said. "Proceeds from the race help fund facade grants, whereby, property owners in the downtown district may apply for grant money when renovating their facades.
"It is a matching grant fund," Hutchison said. "Property owners receive a maximum of $1,000 per renovation. Thus far, the Better Hometown Program has funded six renovation projects and purchased benches, tables, and trash receptacles for the downtown Mayors' Walk Park."